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Teens and Alcohol

California Poison Control System (CPCS) continues to roll out a bus advertising campaign during August in Sacramento and San Francisco in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Health Research for Action to raise awareness about the education and treatment of teens who use alcohol. Alcohol poisoning is a public health problem among teens of all ages.

Alcohol poisoning is a serious emergency, so those around the person with symptoms should call 911 immediately. Symptoms include confusion, disorientation, unresponsiveness, vomiting, difficult or very slow breathing, pale or bluish skin and seizures.

“According to the CDC, the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students, during the past 30 days, 33% drank some amount of alcohol; 18% binge drank; 8% drove after drinking alcohol; and 20% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol,” says Dr. Rais Vohra, Associate Medical Director for the Fresno/Madera Division of CPCS. He added that excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among youth each year, with $24 billion in economic costs in 2010.

“This is why we are taking action to let teens know that there is free and confidential help for them, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. California Poison Control is here for them. We encourage California teens to call, but if the situation appears serious or life threatening, a teen should dial 911 immediately,” says Dr. Vohra.